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Jesus: Our Beloved {March 2018 at Cassidy Elaine Photography}


The month of March wasn't a typical one for us! Did you know that just this week, Michigan winter has finally showed signs of going away for the season? That's right, chilly weather has been dominating the temperatures for nearly SIX MONTHS! But alas, sunshine is breaking through, and in a similar way, I have seen Jesus prove His amazing faithfulness again and again to my soul.

 March included a lovely wedding in Big Rapids, MI that I had the privileged of shooting. There's something so precious about love; its sacred nature, intentional expression, and beautiful declaration that causes my job--to capture and "pause" the moment--to be one of great joy and celebration.


In the past year, I have been encouraged reading Song of Solomon in light of Christ and church.

- Jesus is mine and I am His ("My Beloved is mine, and I am His..." 2:16).
- His banner over me is Love ("He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love" 2:4).
- I am complete in Christ ("Thou are all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee" 4:7).
- Jesus calls me His sister, His love, His dove, and His undefiled ("I slept, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my Beloved that knocketh, saying, 'Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night" 5:2).
- Jesus is the Fairest Among Ten Thousand ("My Beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand" 5:10).

That's our Jesus, and how He beautifully woos and pursues His bride. Earthly love is merely a reflection of a far more grand romance between Jesus and the church; doesn't it just leave you in awe to think that each of us have spat in His face, and yet He loved us entirely and awakened us to Himself? We're not in Christ because we went off and found God somewhere, but, as John Newton so eloquently put it, "It's more like He found me!" "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life" (Psalm 143:8).  

Photographing love stories reminds me that I am in a covenant relationship with the Most High. He is high and lifted up, and yet He would reach down into the miry clay and rescue one such as me; what a mystery. His love is so great! "For your Creator will be your husband; the Lord of Heaven's Armies is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth" (Isaiah 54:5).


"My beloved speaks and says to me: 'Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land" (Song of Solomon 2:10-12).


Here are some photos we shared in the month of March!


1. CHRIS + SKYLAR // beloved

"My beloved is mine, and I am his...." (Song of Solomon 2:16).





2. EMILY + MEGAN & KIMBERLY + SARAH // Our Dearest Friend

"The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ" (Oswald Chambers).



3. REBEKAH + Lilias Trotter // trained faith

 “Trained faith is a triumphant gladness in having nothing but God – not rest, no foothold – nothing but Himself. A triumphant gladness in swinging out into the abyss, rejoicing in every fresh emergency that is going to prove Him true. ‘The Lord alone’ – that is trained faith” (Lilias Trotter, her journal, September 9th, 1902).



4. JOSIAH + MELISSA // safe in Christ

“Calmly we look behind us, on joys and sorrows past, we know that all is mercy now, and shall be well at last; calmly we look before us,—we fear no future ill, enough for safety and peace, if Thou art with us still" (Jane Bortheick, as quoted in Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot).



5. ESTHER + TRAVIS // we dare to trust our God

“Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time of waiting is past! The hour of God has struck! War is declared! In God’s Holy Name let us arise and build! ‘The God of Heaven, He will fight for us’, as we for Him. We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock of the sayings of Christ, and the gates and minions of hell shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear? Before the world, yes, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God, we will venture our all for Him, we will live and we will die for Him, and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only our God, than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ” (C.T. Studd, as shared by deeperchristianquotes.com).



6. MALLORY // feminism: Biblical or problematic?

"Over the past months, I have seen a growing trend of Christian women associating themselves with feminism. They often allude to wanting to support the good things the feminist movement stands for, while at the same time saying that those feminists who embrace non-biblical practices aren’t genuine representatives of true feminism.

In all of the thinking, researching, praying and processing I’ve done on my own and with others, I continue to come back to this: aren’t all evils and/or abuses which feminism claims to fight already addressed under the Banner of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it necessary or appropriate for Christian women to to associate and identify themselves with a movement which embraces an ethos and worldview we as followers of Christ could never fully stand for? Isn’t it enough to simply call ourselves followers of Jesus as we combat sin?

I can stand for right treatment of women, not because of feminism, but because of the Gospel of Jesus. (John 4:7-30, 1 John 3:23, Colossians 3:7-17).

I can encourage strong femininity, not because of feminism, but because of the Gospel of Jesus (Proverbs 31:17).

I can stand for women and men being equally valuable in the eyes of God, not because of feminism, but because of the Gospel of Jesus (Genesis 1:27).

I can stand against wrong treatment of those of different races, not because of feminism, but because of the Gospel of Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

I can stand for the poor and the needy and those without a voice simply because of the Gospel of Jesus (James 2:15).

In all this, what I am standing for is JESUS. We can and should champion anything which Scripture says Believers should stand for, but the attention and focus must be drawn back every time to Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and it is impossible to fully do this under the label of feminism or any other worldly movement. It IS enough to be a follower of Jesus. He is the ultimate answer and solution, and He is what this world needs (1 Corinthians 2:2).

I wish my voice could be heard and my face seen in these words. My only motive is, in love, to encourage Christian women to look to Jesus and find our identity fully in Him" (Heather Cofer, as shared here).

Saturday, March 3, 2018

in

81 Memories From 2017


2017 was an eventful and delightful year! I had the privilege of traveling many places and taking photos. From Grand Rapids to Big Rapids. Parks to Bible school campuses. People's back yards to the sidewalk near Planned Parenthood. Windsor, Colorado to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

I got to build so many client relationships! (It's truly one of my very favorite things about being a creative professional, after all!) My mind goes to Esther & Travis, who graced me with the opportunity to take both their engagement photos and wedding day captures. OR my friend Jalyn, who was sweetly willing to be a model for one of my assignments with the Overflow Blog. There are so many more I could name; Jesus truly blessed me with such precious people, whose photo needs I had the opportunity to meet. But...instead of describing each in words here, I have looked through all my photo sessions of the year and selected eighty-one favorite pictures to share with you.

You'll find the lone, picturesque flower. Open fields with a radiant lady, grinning brightly. Families sharing a special moment of togetherness. A bride and groom dancing their wedding day away. An Ellerslie student basking in the Word in text, simultaneously pursuing the Word of God in Person (Jesus). Individuals standing boldly for life outside an abortion clinic. Taila Hartman pouring out her heart in worship to the King of kings at the piano, and many more captures that leave me all the more in awe of the One who gave life to all of it. Jesus alone is worthy. May these photos cause your heart to behold Him more on this March day.

With love,
Cassidy Elaine
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